DALLAS/FORT WORTH, Texas, Nov 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A simple distance sharing app for iOS eliminates a dangerous type of texting-and-driving. When you are headed to meet someone, Bekon automatically alerts both contacts as they travel closer. Instead of sending a text asking "how far are you?" or looking at their contact's location on a map, drivers can keep their phone safely tucked away and let Bekon do the work.
According to research, ETA communication is more distracting compared to other texts. This is due to an increased cognitive load when determining the answers to questions like "how far are you?" Some people even use map-based apps to determine the answer. Bekon addresses the issue by automatically communicating distance information directly to each contact's lock screen.
Chad Lemons and Peter Black, the two Texas-based developers behind Bekon, have spent the last year perfecting their distance sharing platform. Once a Bekon session is created between two contacts, the app will start calculating distance even after the phones are locked. When pre-selected distance levels are reached, the phone will ding and display the distance on the lock screen.
A recent study by AT&T is circulating the Internet with shocking statistics. The report reveals that while 98 percent of drivers agree that texting-and-driving is dangerous, 75 percent admit to texting behind the wheel. This means that 75 percent of drivers are 23 times more likely to have a wreck. When asked why they use their device while driving, the majority of respondents said they do so to feel connected. Bekon offers this feeling of connection without requiring the driver to directly interact with their device.
In response to what inspired this project, Lemons stated, "I've caused two wrecks due to texting & driving, something I prided myself on not doing. However, both times I made exceptions because I was responding to someone I was on the way to meet. We wanted to find a sophisticated solution that would prevent this scenario from happening to others."
While apps like AT&T's Drive Mode offer a way to completely silence or block all text messages while driving, people still feel an enormous pressure to coordinate and communicate with contacts they are traveling to meet. Bekon is not a replacement for an app that stops all texts from reaching the device, but rather, a companion app that reduces the urge to communicate ETA details. Instead of trying to stop people from texting, Bekon takes an innovative approach to removing a common form of communication from the driving experience. Unlike other meet-up apps, Bekon doesn't use a map display which can be an additional distraction while driving.
Bekon was recently updated for iOS 8 and can be downloaded for free on the App Store.
*Also available for general discussion on texting & driving.